Won’t Somebody Think of the Children!?

Jim Roxbury brought to my attention a quote by Governor Rendell that “the one group that has no lobbyist here in Pennsylvania is our children” as well as too a commenter, who suggest that children have plenty of lobbyists, including those from school boards, agencies that get taxpayer funding for programs ostensibly serving children, and the PSEA lobbyists.

Sorry “edstem”, but Governor Rendell and I agree on this. And I am glad he has finally come around to the view that those that feed at the trough of taxpayers – and in particular the PSEA – are no friends of children. In fact, outside of child predators and Miley Ray Cyrus, no one does more to exploit children than the teachers’ unions. The PSEA uses its influence to undermine school choice, promote strikes, and oppose merit pay and reforms to improve school performance.

As we wrote in a commentary last month:

If policymakers really cared about the children, they would repeal prevailing wage laws, which drive up the cost of school construction by about 20 percent. A Commonwealth Foundation report, Edifice Complex: Where has all the Money Gone, revealed that construction was the fastest growing expenditure by school districts. Most troubling, higher-spending districts spent a increasing proportion of their funding on construction and debt.

And if lawmakers really “cared,� they would empower children by expanding school choice rather than working to contract it. Almost 400,000 Pennsylvania students exercise school choice by opting out of the district-run monopoly, giving them a better, safer, and less expensive education.

Unfortunately, union bosses oppose these and other policies that would improve education. Until children begin donating the amount of money to politicians that Big Labor does, politicians will continue to exhibit only superficial concern for them by spending evermore money, with no accountability for their progress.